This Embodies Time Cher
The Narrative Goes on... Discussion of Time
Discussion on Cultural Revolution Time Capsule
Douglas Gordon and Fabio Mauri Visual Narrative: A Dream Looping & Looping Sequential Recut
Sunset and Highline A Wind Chime
Discussion of Time This is a picture I took in Boston two years ago. I really like this picture and the reason is largely because of the composition of the picture. I made it into black and white because I think it gives more narrative to the picture. The view is from down to up, looking closely at the sign of the subway station (maybe) called Copley. The hard edges of the doors and the building on the back connect in a way. I think this is a very interesting combination of a modern and ancient architecture. The subway station is very modernized and the back, the church like place kind of fuze with the front altogether. I like this kind of past and future fusion. This evokes a sensation of elapsed time through the two structures. Also the marks in the sky adds more lines to the whole composition. However there is the contrast of the hard lines of buildings and soft lines in the sky. I think that because I made the whole image black and white with not a sharp contrast, rather a lot of soft grey makes the image unified. The lighter area in the middle of the picture brings the focus to the foreground, the sign of subway station. Then the eyes move to the middle ground, the old architecture, which I think is the library of the city. The building is mainly dark because the light didnâ€™t hit this side of the building. But I think that light and shadow gives a more serious sense, gravity, solemnity. I think it has a pretty good balance of the darks and lights and the division between the front, middle, and background.
Cultural Revolution This picture is taken during the Cultural Revolution in China in August, 1966. This particular photography illustrates politicians and intellectuals who were targeted and abused in public humiliation rallies, known as “struggle sessions”, in Harbin, Heilongjiang. It captures the serious and humiliating environment during the session. Because it is in black and white, the sharp contrast creates a more intense feeling in the picture. In the right bottom corner of the image, we can see people facing the camera, maybe looking at more people who are categorized in the “Five Black Categories” – landlords, rich farmers, counter-revolutionaries, bad influencers and rightists. Their expressions on their faces show the seriousness and concentration to the subjects. Also in the photograph, we can see that there are probably hundreds or even thousands of people gathered for this struggle session. This shows the importance of the practice during that period of time. The picture is composed very well. The picture is separated into foreground, middle ground, the two targeted people, and background, being the blurred crowd. The light is hitting the back of the bowing men which casts shadow on the front of their body. We can’t see their faces but we can see the big poster hanging from their neck saying their “crime” and names. The floor seems wet and thus reflective. These elements add to the whole feeling of seriousness and horror.
Time Capsule Project The idea of this piece is basically how long it takes for plastic to decompose. Coke is something everyone drinks a lot. I used it as a element that represents the common thing we use that we often forget the danger it causes to our environment. Of course coke has a lot of diffrent packaging like glass bottles or aluminum cans. But plastic is the one that is the most dangerous. I researched the year it takes for each material to decompose. Aluminum cans decompose in 80 to 100 years. Glass bottles decompose in 1,000,000 years. Plastic bottles never decompose. The flower in my collage illustrates nature. Nature is affected by the waste we make. There is always a life cycle with nature. Flower can grow for a month or a year or more and die. So here I’m making a comparison between something that “lives” forever and something that doesn’t. With the flower slowly dying away but the bottle still remains, it illustrates how the nature dies aways while the industrial human made waste remains forever. I bought this flower and took pictures in every few hours when it’s blooming and then take pictures everyday. I used warp tool to manipulate the flower so it fits into the bottle. I made the coke level decrease little by little to compare with the flower dying. And at last, the flower dies but the plastic remains. In the background, I used a picture I took few years ago of the waste I found in Hong Kong. This picture is the inspiration of starting this collage.
Douglas Gordon and Fbio Mauri In the Douglas Gordon show, there are only two sound sources. One is from the three televisions in the corner of the room, playing different angles or clips of the crows gathering together and their voices. The loud and not very pleasant sound of the crows inhabit the whole room. Another source of sound is the television playing clips of a black cat that only has one eye open in another corner of the room. The eye that’s open is constantly blinking showing some kind of uncomforted or nervous feeling. Sometimes its head turns away and the screen is all black but you can still see a little bit of the texture of the cat fur because light hits on different surfaces in different angles. I felt like the cat is in some kind of pain or it’s really tired because it is blinking really slowly. What happened to the other eye is what I don’t know. Maybe it’s hurt, maybe it’s because that it doesn’t want to open the other eye. In the middle of the big room, two large screens are playing scenes from an old black and white movie which I later find is 24 Hour Psycho (1993). The two screens give the majority of the light source in the room. There is no light other than the cold, white light the screen gives off in the room. The movie clips are played back and forth. There is this idea of finding truth by make something piece by piece and dissecting it. I think nowadays with so many fake news in our society, to find something’s truth is hard and we are living in a fast paste. No one would take something really slow. After a while, they find that action meaningless. However, in Douglas Gordon’s show, this idea of breaking to pieces makes me feel dizzy. I don’t know what’s going on on the screen. Like he himself stated “after five minutes, you’ve lost track of where the narrative started.” I didn’t get to see when the two screens start playing the same sequence. But I guess it will be an exciting mo-
The other show by Fabio Mauri is very different from what Douglas Gordon did. Fabio Mauri hits more directly on the theme of politics, the discrimination and violence after false rationalization. Especially the work “Ebrea” which means jewess, explores the theme of Facism. Mauri tries to mimic the objects and routine of the Jewish family. To me, I enjoyed Douglas Gordon’s show more because the direct media he’s using. Also it’s because I am not too familiar with the politics that Mauri exploded. When looking at the show I found some pieces interesting. Like one piece that has no title but it’s nine women’s photographs and hair from top to bottom. The props and drawings look really neat and organized. And also one piece that has a light bulb facing up directly to the drawing of a man and a women. The outside of the light is a reflective material which I can see myself. I found a lot of the works have some reflective things in it, like mirrors or a dark background with the glass reflecting.
I used keying to cut myself out and paste on the background which is a rooftop. It was really difficult to do because I am always moving so I had to do it frame by frame.
Visual Narrative: A Dream This Visual Narrative is made from a dream which I have always had since I was small. I dreamt about me jumping or falling from the top of a building. I always woke up after I fell. And it’s also very strange how I remembered this dream immediately when the project is assigned. In the soundscape before the audio, I started by using the sound of the ocean waves, which is very soothing and comfortable. It transitions on to the sound of the train slowing down reaching the station. I kind of wanted to show the idea of reaching the end of something, maybe life, like death by jumping off the building. Then I have background music and some sentences or words. I wanted to show the idea “everything is the same thing”. My interpretation would be, even if someone is dead, there is a chance to reborn again. And like I am having the same dream over and over again. So I am “living” and “dying” again and again. Also the sentences connect with the end. In the video, here I put some images of me standing on the rooftop, just like a flash, really quick, to foreshadow things. And the video of me walking on the street and looking up is supposed to show how I remembered jumping off the rooftop when seeing the roof of a building. The butterfly clip shows like a good, happy events, which is later the firework. I put the firework here because I wanted to show contrast. Like a happy activity with a sad event that happened. How I got attracted to the roof is by the sound of whistling, which happened three times and each time louder. I chased the sound of the whistle and got to the rooftop. I opened the door and I saw me standing there. We looked at each other, and then I jumped. I think the words in the end really connect to my dream because “it’s life again”. Jumping off the building doesn’t always mean death probably and I am alive “again” when I woke up. So the end is me heavy breathing when I woke up.
Looping and Looping
The Highline Tour
When I arrived at the gallery, I immediately sensed I was really attracted by this video in the room. I watched the mysterious atmosphere around the room. The it more than twice sitting on the bench. The music and the darkness makes people focus on the light in the movement in the animation works so well together. And I room. At first I was confused about how this piece just love the background music. The animation shows evowork. Then I saw someone playing with the water. A lution, movement of different objects in the same length few seconds later, the image started to have beautiful of time. They are mainly black lines on white background ripples that is in the color of rainbow. The image is except some browns like the leaves or the mushroom. It reflected from the red, yellow, blue lights shinning was really satisfying to watch. on the water. I found that most fascinating. So then the waves created when people are playing with water Then I walked into the second room where there are only affects the image that is made by the lights on water, three statues on the ground. They are all in the same shape, and thus affects the reflection on the screen. I feel so the shape of a dog like creature holding another small dog. relaxed just standing in the room and listening and However the textures and colors are all different. However, watching the ripples. Then I moved on to the second when I turned to their backs, I found it really interesting. room which has a lot of big cans. If you look directly All three of them has a ear, a crab, and a frog carved in on top of it, you can see different peopleâ€™s face. They their backs. The images I took donâ€™t show them clearly. are all sleeping. I felt like that gives me the feeling of Some of them are shown clearly because of the texture is them sleeping under the water. So I unintentionally lighter. And all of them has different depth. The last one, kept my moves as quiet as possible. transparent, shows the least deep. And these symbols hint the objects in the video. Although I am not sure what the intention was, I found it interesting to discover.
Sequential RecutThe Earth Day For the sequential recut, I’m preparing to do it on the event happened on April 22, 1970. That was the first world’s Earth Day. 20 million people nationwide got involved in the protest that day against pollution. I thought doing the voice in nature would be really interesting because my video is about polluting nature. But I am not sure exactly how. I am thinking about in the beginning of the video, cutting back and forth between a street scene and the protest. And then cutting from the street scene to a possible pollution scene right now. Maybe something like, what if there wasn’t a protest that day? What if environment is still something that no one cares about? Or like what happened after the protest? Did we really do better? Ideas like that. The subject I want to explore on is the Earth Day in 1970, which is the first ever earth day. I just want to focus on that specific day of that year because it’s the start of the “movement”. People only started to pay more attention to our environment at that period of time. On that day, millions went to protest against the pollution that was affecting the environment and causing harm to the human. It was a very striking event. I want to change the narrative. I want to film that same day and think about what if on that day, the protest didn’t happen? Because that earth day is what raised attention to people to care about environmental questions and I am wondering if there’s not that event, do we still have any attention to pollution or global warming and things like that. I think if I used the nature as my voice speaking would be really interesting because my subject is the environmental problems. However I am not to sure about how to film using the nature as a voice. Maybe cutting back and forth on grass or trees and showing footages of polluting areas to express the nature is witnessing all the changes to environment and how that affected them. I think the audience should be everyone, including me because I am also very curious about how we react to this problem. Since the environment affects everyone in the world, the audience should definitely be all the people. In the final video, I used three sections, 1970, 2018 NYC, and Buddhism, which deeply affects me. I used broadcasts from the 1970 Earth Day and 2018 tv broadcast to contrast then and now. I want to show how the 1970 movement has affected us now. And then I used the clips I shot on the streets of New York. I compared the beautiful flowers falling from the tree and where they ended up with, which is with trash bags and dirty sewage. In the last section, I compared a meditation between the monk and my friend. The meditation is disruppted by the harsh sound of the sirens.
FInal- The Wind Chime For the final project, I decided to do a wind chime with dead leaves and flowers. The idea is to have the dead leaves represent the time thatâ€™s passed. In the video, I used the sound made by bamboo wind chimes and tried to match it with my video. Itâ€™s not perfectly matched. Also I added effects for the first few seconds. I wanted to made the feeling of having a close up first and then pull back to the entire installation.